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Hold Obama's feet to the fire

Professsor Melissa Harris-Lacewell has correctly crystallized the point of the battle against Glenn Beck and his fellow travelers.

In fact, I would submit that the subterfuge of "Beckism" is the most effective weapon in dismantling any coherent activism in challenging President Obama and the establishment Democrats on their acquiescence to the agenda of the financial/military/corporate elite they have fostered since taking over the governance of the country after the November 2008 elections. The Hope and Change slogan of the election campaign has resulted in changing our minds about any hope. In all fairness to Obama, the first Afro-American president in the country's 200-plus–year history can hardly be expected to transcend our nation's racial past or present. However, at the very least, I expect him to persist in being a Democrat and representing those principles and values upon which his predecessors such as FDR and LBJ persevered.

The question now is if those democratic institutions such as the labor rights, civil rights, environmental and peace movements, among a host of others, are prepared to organize and fight back as hard as they did when Bush was in office. We cannot be afraid to "embarrass" or criticize the first black president for fear that others will pile on or that we will "undermine" his efforts. From the moment he was sworn in, his fate with "Beckism" and the establishment right was sealed. Establishment Democrats in the House and especially the Senate must be called out for their equivocation and despotism. We cannot cheerlead this administration while the virtual and literal codification of second-class citizenship is imposed upon 98 percent of the population, not to mention the fate of the poor and communities of color. President Obama himself famously said that just as FDR told Americans to make him fight for what they wanted from government, we have to demand justice and equity with all our might. I, for one, am ready to write those letters, sign those petitions, march and camp out or chain myself to whatever structure is holding back our freedom, even it is the gates of the White House!

Sherletta McCaskill

Irvington, NJ

Sep 3 2010 - 4:10pm